Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Monk's Calling

A Friar looking
right and left.
Description of animation: A friar looks and calls right and left, dressed in brown robes, distinctive hair style, cross hanging from his waist

Friars are different from monks in that they are called to live the evangelical counsels (vows of poverty, chastity and obedience) in service to society, rather than through cloistered asceticism and devotion. Whereas monks live in a self-sufficient community, friars work among laypeople and are supported by donations or other charitable support. A monk or nun makes their vows and commits to a particular community in a particular place. Friars commit to a community spread across a wider geographical area known as a province, and so they will typically move around, spending time in different houses of the community within their province.

Did You Know? A religious habit is a distinctive set of garments worn by members of a religious order. Traditionally some plain garb recognisable as a religious habit has also been folded by those leading the religious eremitic and anchoritic life, although in their case without conformity to a particular uniform style.
       In the typical Roman Catholic or Anglican orders, the habit consists of a tunic covered by a scapular and cowl, with a hood for monks or friars and a veil for nuns; in other orders it may be a distinctive form of cassock for men, or a distinctive habit and veil for women. Modern habits are sometimes eschewed in favor of a simple business suit. Catholic Canon Law requires only that it be in some way identifiable so that the person may serve as a witness to Gospel values. This requires flexibility and creativity. For instance in Turkey, where religious garb is not allowed in public, a Franciscan might wear street clothes. Read more . . .

Discussion of symbolism in monastic clothing.